Leeds United: We passed key test, says Garry Monk

Chris Wood.
Chris Wood.
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Garry Monk claimed Leeds United had passed a major examination after a 2-1 victory over Bristol City drew a line under back-to-back Championship defeats.

Garry Monk claimed Leeds United had passed a major examination after a 2-1 victory over Bristol City drew a line under back-to-back Championship defeats.

Chris Wood and Pablo Hernandez scored either side of half-time to secure a tense win at Elland Road and stretch United’s lead over seventh-placed Norwich City to six points with 14 games of the season to go.

Monk admitted that his promotion-chasing side were under pressure to see off Bristol City after a 2-1 loss at Huddersfield Town 10 days ago was followed by a 2-0 defeat at home to Cardiff City on Saturday, threatening Leeds’ play-off place.

Wood and Hernandez put United 2-0 ahead on 47 minutes last night but Bristol City, who are 20th in the table, created a series of chances in the second half and scored with the last touch of the game through a header from striker Milan Djuric.

Monk said his side had been “a little bit too protective” of their 2-0 lead, encouraged to sit back by the importance of the result, but United’s head coach believes his side have come through a major test of character at an advanced stage of the term.

“There was added pressure to perform and get a result,” Monk said. “That, on a young group, was never going to make it easy, but we handled it very well.

“In the first half we were very good, but when we got the second goal, naturally at that point – because we were coming off the back to two defeats – we went a little bit too protective and

Bristol City had nothing to lose.

“Mentality-wise, character-wise and response-wise, the group deserve big credit. We know that when we’re at our best we can play like we did in the first half and that’s something we push every day. You’ve seen it a lot this season.

“But coming off the back of two defeats, one a local derby, maybe confidence takes a bit of a knock. We had to pull out a performance and that’s an important marker. We deserved the win.”

Monk insisted he had not sensed a noticeable drop in the mood at Thorp Arch in the build-up to last night’s fixture but the Leeds boss said: “You know from experience that confidence will be slightly lower than what it would normally be.

“We haven’t lost two games back-to-back for a long time and there was the pressure of being at home. But you could see the attitude and that’s the thing that will stand us in good stead, even if we have to go through any other sticky patches. You saw good maturity in a game which there was pressure to win.”

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